Connecting a USB camera to your Android Phone

With Webeecam,Β an Android Application, users can connect a USB camera to their Android phones or tablets and record videos, take still images etc. We wanted to share with you all why we came up with that application and how you can use it.

Our team at e-con Systems have been developing embedded USB cameras for the past 5 years or so and have worked with USB Video Class stack for nearly a decade now. It all started when we wanted to test USB cameras in sunlight. Our camera support team gets support queries related to WhiteBalance, exposure etc.

We used to carry laptop with cameras attached and go out of office and take pictures of color charts, flowers and what not πŸ™‚ We had to adjust brightness, exposure, etc. to capture good quality images and it was cumbersome.

webeecam

That’s when we thought why can’t we use a mobile phone or tablet to connect and test the USB camera? We did not have a proper way to do it and we decided to find a way to do it.

We had developed UVC stacks for microcontroller, Linux and Windows CE based systems and all that knowledge came in handy. The team first got a Moto X from the market, ROOTED it and used our existing code and experience with Linux UVC stack and got it to work perfectly for our use case. We were able to happily take the mobiles out to test our cameras in the open sunlight and in a moving car, all using a ROOTED Android phone.

Can we connect a USB camera to an Android phone without Rooting?

When we researched existing Android applications which can support USB cameras when connected, we stumbled upon a number of use cases where connecting a USB camera to an Android phone could prove to be of great help. Some scenarios were:

  1. Connecting a Borescope and examining your car or a crevice in your roof. You do not want to carry a laptop there, do you?
  2. Connecting a USB based digital microscope in a lab or a makeshift lab in your garden.
  3. Connecting a speciality USB camera for your High Dynamic Range image capture.

So we developed an application that can record video and capture still images from a USB camera attached to an Android phone or tablet without rooting.

Here you go, Webeecam, the Android application for your USB camera!!

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